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Old 10-14-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default Will I make my beer go flat?

I kind of messed up with my latest batch of kegged homebrew. I was trying to ensure that I'd get good head formation and carbonation, but rather than just changing one variable - I changed too many (psi, and temp). Unfortunately, my beer lines are only like 5ft so at 14-15 psi, I'm getting way more foam than I'm used to.

My previous settings were:
keezer thermostat setpoint @ 45 (often reads 43 though)
co2 regulator @ 10-12 psi
the thermostat on the freezer (not the johnson controls, the regular one): turned all the way up <-- yes, I changed this too for some reason

My new settings are:
keezer thermostat setpoint @ 43 (often reads 41)
co2 regulator @ 14-15 psi
the thermostat on the freezer I turned to halfway (to try and eliminate the differential between my thermostat setpoint and what it was actually reading, i assumed maybe when the freezer kicked on, it was running too much and cooling it down past the setpoint)

I think I was better off with my previous settings. The beer in the keg is pale ale, and the head formation and retention is fantastic, but I think that's more due to the fact that it's highly hopped and has a greater proportion of carapils in it, not due to me messing with all of this.

So, what can I do now besides just quickly drink this and reset all my keezer variables to what they were for my previous batches of beer?

If I lower the psi on my regulator and bleed everything, is my beer eventually going to flatten out? If I up the temperature setpoint and up the overall temp in the keezer, I'll just add to the foam problem, right?

Any suggestions?

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Old 10-14-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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Vent the keg and set your reg to your old settings. Beer will be fine. Sounds like you need to get a temperature controller and some longer (start with 10 foot) 3/16 beer lines.

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Old 10-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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I do already have a temperature controller, the reason I mentioned the stock thermostat on the freezer was because at one point I turned it down. My theory was that I could keep it from cooling down past where I wanted the temperature. There is normally a -2° difference between my setpoint and what the thermostat actually reads. Edit: It's a digital Johnson Controls A419.

If I was ok with my previous settings for 2 other batches of beer, would I really need to change my line length? With my old settings, 43-45 degrees / 11-12 psi, my pours were great.

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Old 10-14-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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*bump* would like to get some more opinions on this, if possible. Thanks!

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Old 10-14-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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I am still sorting out my own line balancing issues but my first thought is that 5 feet is way to short for 14-15 psi.

Edit-- I read that you are usng Carapils....at what % of grain bill? I found that 1 lb to my pale and I am in foam all the way down. Info on this board recommends using it at no higher than 5%, but I am usually way over.

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Old 10-14-2010, 06:40 PM   #6
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I think your first thought is dead on. I used half a pound of carapils in a 5 gallon batch. As far as % of grain bill, I dunno how to calculate that exactly as it was an extract batch.

My question now, though, is what happens if I just bleed everything and try to get the regulator set back at 12 psi?

Will the carbonation in the beer eventually equalize down to that pressure - or would the effects be more detrimental than that?

My plan is to just leave the temperature where it's at and bleed everything off and set the regulator back to 12. Will I screw anything up by doing that?

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Old 10-14-2010, 06:45 PM   #7
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I guess what I'm saying is (two things):

1. for some reason, I have it in my head that I've read on these forums that if I try to drop the psi on a keg from a higher value to a lower value, that the beer eventually goes flat. if that is ridiculous and i'm just mixing things up in my head, then great - someone please just tell me

2. whether i do it for this batch or not, i'm going to set everything back to where it was. 45 deg setpoint on the thermostat, 10-12 psi on the regulator. the question is, if i do it on a batch that already has more volumes of carbonation than that, what happens?

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Old 10-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Dropping the pressure without bleeding will not fix an overcarbed keg. You will need to drop pressure and bleed frequently to do that. Your beer will not go flat from dropping pressure though. I have had my share of overcarbed beers. I usually just drop the pressure way down 3-5lbs if pouring is a problem.

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Old 10-14-2010, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lschiavo View Post
Dropping the pressure without bleeding will not fix an overcarbed keg. You will need to drop pressure and bleed frequently to do that. Your beer will not go flat from dropping pressure though. I have had my share of overcarbed beers. I usually just drop the pressure way down 3-5lbs if pouring is a problem.
Cool, that's what I'll do then.

Yeah, overcarbed beer kinda sucks, if that's what you'd even call what I have. I guess it doesn't taste different, it's just coming out the tap wayyyy too fast. I also don't like the lower temperature. Seems like the beer is "just right" if I let it sit for 5 minutes or so before I start drinking. I do believe I liked my warmer temp setting better. Cold just dulls the deliciousness!
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
Cool, that's what I'll do then.

Yeah, overcarbed beer kinda sucks, if that's what you'd even call what I have. I guess it doesn't taste different, it's just coming out the tap wayyyy too fast. I also don't like the lower temperature. Seems like the beer is "just right" if I let it sit for 5 minutes or so before I start drinking. I do believe I liked my warmer temp setting better. Cold just dulls the deliciousness!
I keep my kegger at around 40 (just the fridge thermostat). And gas usually around 10-12psi. I started with 5-ft lines but bumped them up to 10-ft. Pours did get alot better after that. Longer lines should help with the "way to fast" problem.
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